Tuesday, March 14, 2017



RFK JR.: Free market capitalism will fix environment

Kennedy: "It's a war between old energy and new energy"

NEW PALTZ – Both lecture halls were filled at SUNY New Paltz Monday night as distinguished speaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discussed the future of environmentalism in America. The Westchester attorney is known for his involvement in Riverkeeper organization, and his family history in national politics.

Kennedy argued that the current generation is on the brink of environmental war, which will determine how the nation harnesses its energy needs. He characterized this impending battle as free market capitalism versus oligarchy. The issue of energy use is the linchpin for international and domestic policies, economics, and environmental security, he said.

“It is a war between old energy and new energy," Kennedy said. "Particularly, with the advent of this administration, and the prospect that this country is now being turned into a petro state. A true free market loves efficiency, the elimination of waste, and pollution is waste. What polluters do is make themselves rich, by making everyone else poor. They do that by escaping the discipline of the free market. You show me a polluter, and I’ll show you a subsidy. I’ll show you a fat-cat, who is using political clout, to escape the discipline of free market, and force the public to pay his pollution costs.”

Noting global emergencies like Fukushima, massive oil spills, pipeline disputes, fracking, and global warming, Kennedy said wind and solar will affordably power the entire US energy grid. “They can no longer beat us on a level playing field,” he said of the fossil fuel industry.

“We can beat them in all these arenas, on price and quality,” he said. “The only way they can maintain their market dominance, is with the political system, which is why you see this huge race today, to place their puppets in government agencies that control the outcome.”

With solar electric now costing $1 billion per gigawatt, Kennedy estimated a new smart US power grid would cost $1 trillion – a quarter the price of the War in Iraq. “We have an energy system in this country that was designed and written by the incumbents, to favor the dirtiest, filthiest, most poisonous, most destructive, most addictive fuels from hell, rather than the cheap clean patriotic fuels from heaven,” he said.

Additionally, Kennedy said solar power has no external costs, such as pollution, health care, wars, and resource extraction. Pay for solar panels, one time only, and get free energy forever. Kennedy claimed renewable solar will democratize the economy, and eliminate oligarchy.


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